William S. Fisher, 59, is the middle son of Don and Doris Fisher, who founded clothing retail giant Gap in San Francisco. Bill Fisher is a director at Gap and also active in the finance world, having founded Manzanita Capital, a London-based private equity firm. Forbes currently estimates his net worth at $1.49 billion.
Like other members of the Fisher clan, Fisher engages in philanthropy. He and his wife, Sakurako, move their charitable contributions through the Sakana Foundation, which awarded around $2.7 million in a recent year. The couple are particularly supportive of arts and cultural institutions in the Bay Area.
The Fisher family has deep ties to the San Francisco Symphony (SFS); Doris has served on the board since 1980. Sakurako joined the SFS board in 1992 and is currently board of governors president. Through the Sakana Foundation, the couple has supported SFS, as well as Bay Area arts institutions like American Conservatory Theatre, Alonzo King's LINES Ballet, Asian Art Museum, Exploratorium, Museum of the African Diaspora, and Counterpulse, which seeks to “provide space and resources for emerging artists and cultural innovators.”
Fisher and Sakurako both graduated from Stanford, home to the Sakurako and William Fisher Family Directorship of the Stanford Global Studies Division. They’ve supported the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law at FSI, underwriting the honors thesis program. Other grantees have included California Academy of the Sciences and UC Berkeley.
While the Fisher couple’s grantmaking through Sakana Foundation has prioritized the Bay Area in recent years, the couple also has ties to other regions. For instance, Sakurako serves on the board of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in D.C.. As she puts it, “The Bay Area is seductive, but although many people think of it as American utopia, we’re not representative of this country as a whole. It’s really important to have a pulse on what’s going on in other places.” For more, see our Wall Street Donor profile, linked below.
PROFILE: William and Sakurako Fisher